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The confluence of regionalism, state functionalism and public private partnerships in southern Africa: perspectives from Botswana, Malawi and South Africa.

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This thesis examines the politico-administrative efficacy of regional integration (RI) and statecraft in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) with implications for public private partnership (PPP) development. Through comparative case studies of Botswana, Malawi and South Africa, one aim, inter alia is to determine the degree to which SADC RI accounts for any relationship between RI, state fragility or state functionalism and PPPs. The units of analysis are the three countries embedded with individual multi-sector stakeholders. The multi-inter-trans-disciplinary approach employs a sequential transformative multi-method qualitative research design underpinned by philosophical worldviews of interpretivism, pragmatism, critical theory and post-positivism. Primary qualitative data are drawn from interviewees in the three countries across multi-sector organisations while secondary qualitative data stem from literature and policy documents. Secondary quantitative data are drawn from a variety of global indices, including the State Fragility Index, the Country Policy Institutional Assessment, and the Global Competitive Index and analysed for trends across the SADC fifteen-member countries. Qualitative data are analysed through content, textual and discourse analysis whereas quantitative indicators from indices are analysed afresh through SPSS, considering parameters related to the study. The study found that an ideological deficit in perceptions, architecture and measures of politico-administrative dimensions of RI, state fragility or functionalism and PPPs limits SADC’s role in advancing the synergy between these dimensions. Findings challenge the incoherencies derived from the predominance of Eurocentric and trans-Atlantic theory, particularly westernised notions of state fragility that seem to pre-empt emergence of endogenously-driven state functionalism to facilitate RI. Results show how new modes of theoretical perspectives and discourses help to deconstruct, redefine and endogenously establish functional polities that fit the governance context of the current political-economy of the SADC region and its stride toward RI. The thesis submits new conceptual formulations and theoretical propositions on RI and African statecraft, including introduction of the endogenously-driven concept of ‘Afristate functionalism’ that promotes epistemological pluralism.


Doctoral degree. University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban.